Monday, November 28, 2016

Flathead County Gulls on Sunday

      Taking advantage of the nice(ish?) weather on Sunday the 27th, and a free morning, I went up to the landfill to indulge in the challenge that is gull identification!

     Many birds were present, almost a thousand, most being Ring-billed Gulls, as usual. I estimated 150 Herring Gulls, 45 California Gulls and found 1 Mew Gull and 1 Thayer's Gull.  I managed to do quite well in the relm of photographing the gulls, and got some pretty good shots!  I looked and looked, for about an hour, but I did not turn up any "white-winged" or "dark-backed" gulls.  I have been working hard on learning 1st and 2nd-cycle Slaty-backed and Lesser black-backed Gulls in hopes that I can use that to positively ID one! It seems most of those species go unnoticed unless they are full adults.

Here are my best photos from Sunday! Enjoy!

adult Ring-billed Gull

adult Herring Gull (Ring-billed in foreground)

adult California Gull

adult Mew Gull
1st-cycle Herring Gull

1st-cycle Herring Gull

2nd-cycle California Gull

     It was a good day at the dump, and I got to exercise my gull-ID.  I plan on going back many times this winter, and hopefully will find something quite odd!  In the meantime, I will continue to learn new aspects of gull ID! It's a lot to learn!

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